Once you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, you might be worried about the numerous medications,
Lifestyle plays an important role in treating your high blood pressure, this indeed helps to bring down the number of tablets you might be taking.
9 lifestyle changes that can lower your blood pressure
1. Lose extra pounds in a healthy manner:
Blood pressure often increases as you put on extra pounds of weight. Overweight can cause disrupted breathing which can lead to sleep apnea, this can further raises your blood pressure.
Weight loss is one of the most effective way to control blood pressure.
You can reduce your blood pressure by about 1 millimeter of mercury (mm Hg) with each kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) of weight you lose.
Carrying too much weight around your waist is one of the risk factor of developing high blood pressure.
Men are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches (102 centimeters).
Women are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (89 centimeters).
2. Physical Exercise regularly
Regular physical activity at least for 150 minutes a week, or about 30 minutes most days of the week can lower your blood pressure by about 5 to 8 mm Hg if you are having high blood pressure
Examples of few aerobic exercise that an lower blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing.
Strength training also can help reduce blood pressure. Aim to include strength training exercises at least two days a week.
3. Eat a healthy diet
Eating a diet which is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure.
There is a specific diet known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet that helps in keeping you pressure at check.
This diet helps to lower blood pressure without medication in research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. This diet helps to reduce the sodium in your diet and also encourages to eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure.
Following this diet, we can reduce the blood pressure by 14 mm-Hg in just 2 weeks. This diet also helps in preventing osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Keep a food diary and Monitor what you eat, how much, when and why.
Consider boosting potassium. Potassium can lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure. The best source of potassium is food, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than supplements.
4. Reduce sodium in your diet
It is proven that a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can improve your heart health and reduce blood pressure by about 5 to 6 mm Hg if you are having high blood pressure.
Limit sodium to 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day or less. However, a lower sodium intake — 1,500 mg a day or less — is ideal for most adults.
Read food labels and consider the foods that show low-sodium alternatives of the foods.
Eat fewer processed foods as sodium is normally added during the processing.
Just 1 level teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of sodium so use herbs or spices to add flavor to your food.
5. Limit your alcohol intake
it has been shown that the Alcohol can be both good and bad for your health.
By drinking alcohol only in moderation generally one drink a day for women, or two a day for men you can potentially lower your blood pressure by about 4 mm Hg.
One drink is equal to 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
But the beneficial effect of alcohol is lost if you drink too much alcohol.
Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol can actually raise blood pressure.
6. Quit smoking
Each cigarette that you smoke can increase your blood pressure for many minutes after you finish. Stopping smoking helps your blood pressure return to normal.
7. Cut down caffeine
The role of caffeine in reduction of blood pressure is a debate . Caffeine can raise blood pressure up to 10 mm Hg in people who rarely consume it.
But people who had coffee regularly may experience little or no effect on their blood pressure.
If your blood pressure increases by 5 to 10 mm Hg, you may be sensitive to the blood pressure raising effects of caffeine.
8. Reduce your stress
Chronic stress is one of the risk factors that can contribute to high blood pressure.
Take some time to think about what causes you to feel stressed, such as work, family, finances or illness. Once you know what’s causing your stress, consider how you can eliminate or reduce stress.
Avoid stress triggers. Try to avoid triggers when you can.
Make time to relax and to do activities you enjoy. Take time each day to sit quietly and breathe deeply.
Make time for enjoyable activities or hobbies in your schedule, such as taking a walk, cooking or volunteering.
9. Monitor blood pressure at home.
Home monitoring can help you to keep a regular check on your blood pressure. If you find your blood pressure is in its odds then time to schedule an appointment with the doctor.
Regular visits with your doctor are also key to controlling your blood pressure. If you’re making any changes in your medications or other treatments, your doctor may recommend you check your blood pressure starting two weeks after treatment changes and a week before your next appointment.
Apart from the life style modifications , dietary modifications can also play a vital role in controlling high blood pressure.(source)
15 Foods that can keep a check in your hypertension
Blueberries and strawberries one good fruits that contain anthocyanins, which can help to reduce a person’s blood pressure.
They contain antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid.
Researchers have conducted a large study with about more than 34,000 people with hypertension.
They found that those with the highest intake of anthocyanins had an 8 percent reduction in the risk of high blood pressure.
Bananas are the fruits which contain plenty of potassium, a mineral that plays a vital role in managing hypertension.
According to the American Heart Association, potassium have the function in reducing the effects of sodium and also alleviates tension in the walls of the blood vessels.
The aim is to consume about 4,700 milligrams (mg) of potassium daily. People with corelated kidney problem should consult doctor before having these foods
The potassium-rich foods include:
- sweet potatoes
In 2015, the researchers have reported that by drinking red beet juice every day that can lead to lowering in the blood pressure in people with hypertension.
Those who drank about 250 milliliters, about 1 cup, of the juice every day for 4 weeks. The researchers noticed some positive effects within 24 hours.
In this study, those who drank 1 cup of the beet juice every day had an average drop in blood pressure of around 8/4 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
4. Dark chocolate
This sweet has many health benefits that can treat high blood pressure.
A review of 15 trials suggests that the cocoa-rich chocolate reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension or prehypertension.
Choose high-quality chocolate that contains a minimum of 70 percent cocoa, and consume a single square, or a piece measuring about 1 ounce, each day.
Study done on the Effect of Dark Chocolate on the Arterial Function in Healthy Individuals by Charalambos suggest that the high flavonoid intake benefits the cardiovascular outcome. The Endothelial function, the arterial stiffness, and wave
reflections are important determinants of the cardiovascular performance .
The research showed for the first time that the consumption of the dark chocolate has acutely decreased
wave reflections, and beneficial effect on the endothelial function in the healthy individuals, which seemed to be improved in the intake of the dark chocolate
Click here to know how dark chocolate can improve life span
Daily serving of kiwi can reduce blood pressure in people with mildly elevated levels, according to results of a research study.
In the study the researchers have compared the effects of apples and kiwis on people with slightly high blood pressure and found that by eating three kiwis a day for 8 weeks resulted in a more significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, compared with eating one apple a day for the same period.
Watermelon contains an amino acid named as citrulline, which may help to manage high blood pressure.
This Citrulline helps the body to produce nitric oxide, a gas that relaxes blood vessels and encourages flexibility in arteries. The effect of the nitic oxide aid the flow of blood, which can lower high blood pressure.
In a research study, mice made to drink a solution containing watermelon juice had 50 percent less plaque in their arteries than the control group and also had less low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which many describe as bad cholesterol.
Oats have a type of fiber called as beta-glucan, which help to reduce blood cholesterol levels and lowers the blood pressure.
A review various research studies of 28 trials concluded that higher consumption of beta-glucan fiber may lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
8. Leafy green vegetables
They contain high amounts of nitrates, which help to manage blood pressure.
Some research studies have suggested that eating 1–2 servings of nitrate-rich vegetables every day can reduce hypertension for up to 24 hours.
Few leafy greens include:
- collard greens
- mustard greens
Garlic has about various natural antibiotic and antifungal food. Its main active ingredient, called allicin, is associated health benefits.
Some research suggests that garlic increases the body’s production of nitric oxide, which helps the smooth muscles to relax and the blood vessels to dilate. These changes can reduce hypertension.
One research study reported that garlic extract reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in hypertensive people.
Using garlic instead of salt in your food can further promote the health of the heart.
10. Fermented foods
Fermented foods are so rich in probiotics, which are said to be the beneficial bacteria that plays an important role in maintaining gut health.
Eating probiotics regularly can have a modest effect on high blood pressure, according to a review of nine studies.
Few Fermented foods include:
- natural yogurt
- apple cider vinegar
11. Lentils and other pulses
In 2014, The researchers found the effects of a diet rich in pulses on rats and reported the decreased levels of blood pressure and cholesterol.
A total of 30 percent of the rats’ diet comprised pulses, including beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas. has proved effective
12. Natural yogurt
The America Heart Association has reported that yogurt may reduce the risk of high blood pressure in women.
The researchers have done study on middle-aged women who consumed five or more servings of yogurt each week for 18–30 years showed a 20 percent reduction in the risk of hypertension when compared to similarly aged women who rarely ate yogurt.
Drinking about 1 cup of pomegranate juice daily for 28 days can lower high blood pressure, according to the findings of a study from 2012. The researchers attributed this effect to the fruit’s antioxidant content.
Cinnamon is one good spice that can reduce blood pressure, at least in the short-term.
An analysis of three research studies had showed that cinnamon decreased short-term systolic blood pressure by 5.39 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 2.6 mm Hg.
These are healthful nuts that have the property to decrease hypertension.
One study reported that including pistachio nuts in a moderate-fat diet may reduce blood pressure during times of stress. This is due to a compound in the nuts reduces the tightness of blood vessels.
Other studies have also shown the other nuts, such as almonds, had a similar effect. (source)
It is not always the medications but the lifestyle modifications and dietary changes plays an important role in treating your high blood pressure. These two helps in effective control of your fluctuation blood pressure.
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